Raymond Briggs has died at the age of 88.
The author and illustrator - who was best-known for his 1978 picture book 'The Snowman' - passed away on Tuesday morning (09.08.22).
His family said in a statement: "We know that Raymond's books were loved by and touched millions of people around the world, who will be sad to hear this news. Drawings from fans - especially children's drawings - inspired by his books were treasured by Raymond and pinned up on the wall of his studio.
"He lived a rich and full life and said he felt lucky to have had both his wife Jean and his partner of over 40 years Liz in his life.
"He shared his love of nature with Liz on South Downs walks and on family holidays to Scotland and Wales. He also shared his sense of fun and craziness with his family, and with his family of artist friends - at get-togethers, fancy dress parties, and summer picnics in the garden.
"He played practical jokes and enjoyed them being played on him. All of us close to him knew his irreverent humour - this could be biting in his work when it came to those in power. He liked the Guardian editorial describing himself as an 'iconoclastic national treasure'."
Francesca Dow, the managing director of Penguin Random House Children's, has also paid a glowing tribute to the author.
Francesca said: "Raymond's books are picture masterpieces that address some of the fundamental questions of what it is to be human, speaking to both adults and children with a remarkable economy of words and illustrations."
The animated film version of Briggs' 'The Snowman' was first broadcast on Boxing Day in 1982, and has aired on British TV every Christmas since.
The author's other works included 'Father Christmas' and its sequel 'Father Christmas Goes on Holiday', while some of his work has also been adapted into plays and TV animations.